Cougars Place in the Top Five at Pre Nationals
Terre Haute, IN -- Both Cougar cross country teams got a great feel for the national course on Saturday, as the men and women finished in the top five at pre-nationals in Terre Haute, Indiana.
"Some good things happened this weekend," said men's head coach Ed Eyestone. "Four of our runners are running where they should be and we got a great feel for the course."
For the men, they finished fourth overall with a team score of 190 points as the women placed fifth overall with a combined score of 192 points. Stanford ran away with a sweep at this year's race and looks to be the team to beat, when the national championship race rolls around on November 22.
The first Cougar to cross the finish line for the men was Josh Rohatinsky. Coming in at 24:06.6, Rohatinsky has made some headway this season. The quick and aggressive sophomore as become the leader on the men's team and seems to get stronger as the weeks go by.
"Josh ran a smart race today," Eyestone added. "He battled the entire way with a group of runners, and near the end he put a move on, had he been up their in the front, he could have had a chance to win."
Eyestone went on to mention that Brian Lindsay (24:21.3) who placed 19th overall continues to improve and put himself in a position to finish strong. He also noted, Chad Durham (24:34.0) who finished 27th overall, stepped it up and finished where he needed to be, including Nathan Robison (24:58.3) who placed 62nd overall, continues to improve and should be ready to go come championship time.
But a hidden gem was uncovered this weekend as Josh McAdams placed first overall in the open race. The senior's time of 24:49.9 would have given the Cougars a second place finish, had he ran in the men's 8K blue team race.
"Josh showed us today, that he should be one of our top seven runners," said Eyestone. "It was a pleasant surprise to see him finish where he did."
As for the women, Laura Turner has taken the reins of leadership and has pushed and pulled her team closer and closer to the top. The senior has tested her legs during the two races she's competed in and looks to be a stallion ready to be unleashed.
"Laura ran an exceptional race on Saturday," women's head coach Patrick Shane said.
"She pounded it out and got the job done."
With a time of 20:30.7, Turner placed fourth overall in the women's 6K race, as teammates Rena Chesser (21:15.4) and Heidi Magill (21:16.4) placed 23rd and 24th overall.
Jami Caldwell (21:52.9) finished 66th and Amber Harper (21:59.3) crossed the line 75th overall.
"Our real issue is finding a runner to step it up and fill that fourth and fifth spot," added Shane. "I'm hopeful we can get it all put together in the next couple of weeks."
Suzanna Logan (22:32.2) competed in her first race of the year and placed 137th. The junior has been battling some injuries early in the year.
Shane added that he asked Logan to try and keep up with Rena and Heidi.
"Suzanna did a great job, she was right with the two (Rena and Heidi), but right near the end she got rubber legs and couldn't keep up," said Shane. "I'm very optimistic that we'll see a very different race out of her come championship time."
Now the time to win becomes more and more critical. The Mountain West Conference Championships are in a couple of weeks and last year, the men were knocked off by the Air Force Academy, as the women went on to win their 16th straight conference championship.
'We're getting in a great position to finish up as championship racing begins," Eyestone said.
"We're improving and getting better each week," said Shane. "I'm very optimistic about how we're going to finish."
Men's 2004 NCAA Pre-Nationals
Hosted by Indiana State University
Saturday, October 16, 2004
1. Stanford; 1 5 10 30 31 (33) (71) = 77
2. Notre Dame; 8 13 28 50 66 (88) (121)= 165
3. Michigan; 2 3 42 52 89 (96) (100) = 188
4. Brigham Young; 7 19 27 62 75 (105) (126) = 190
Women's 2004 NCAA Pre-Nationals
Hosted by Indiana State University
Saturday, October 16, 2004
1. Stanford; 1 6 8 12 22 (36) (43) = 49
2. Notre Dame; 3 11 16 29 52 (113) (187) = 111
3. North Carolina; 2 5 30 45 47 (127) = 129
4. Missouri; 14 18 35 50 57 (106 (177) = 174
5. Brigham Young; 4 23 24 66 75 (110) (137) = 192
Cougars Heading to Pre Nationals
PROVO -- The men and women are gearing up for Pre Nationals this weekend in Terre Haute, Indiana.
With the leaves beginning to fall and the weather getting cooler, that means championship racing is just around the corner.
"It's all about positioning yourself now," said men's coach Ed Eyestone. "It's not do or die, but you need to put yourself in a position to be successful down the stretch."
The men have had two weeks to prepare themselves for the trip back to Indiana. Their last visit to the state, they finished fifth overall and Josh Rohatinsky won his third straight overall title at the Notre Dame Invitational.
"Josh has a great chance this weekend to test his legs and see where he fits nationally," Eyestone said.
For the women, the last time they competed on this course the Cougars ran away with the 2002 NCAA title, but there's a significant difference this year, not one of the girls competing this weekend have ever stepped foot on the course.
"What were trying to achieve this Saturday is to get a familiar feel for the course," said women's coach Patrick Shane. "It's kind of a great big horse track, basically two big loops around the course for the women and a bit of a challenge there in the middle."
A total of 87 teams will compete in both the men and women's divisions on Saturday.
"We want to beat a lot of teams from other regions this weekend," said Eyestone. "Including the ones from our own region.
Among the 87 teams competing on the men's side will be No. 13 ranked Air Force and No. 21 ranked Colorado State.
"Of course we want to see how Air Force does on Saturday," said Eyestone. "They edged us out last year in the Mountain West Conference Championships and they've got a good squad this year."
For the women, Suzanna Logan will make her first appearance this year as a talented core of runners will compete for the women.
"We're not peaking this weekend, but it's good to have some of our athletes back and ready to run," Shane said.
Logan and teammate Amber Harper have been battling some injuries this year, but Coach Shane feels the two are ready to run.
"At the Great American, we didn't get the job done at the fourth and fifth spot," said Shane. "With the athletes were sending down, we should be better at that spot."
On the men's side, Chandler Goodwin is recovering from strep throat and looks ready to go on Saturday, including fellow teammate Matt Adams who's battled back from some lingering injuries.
"Those two guys are tough competitors and have looked pretty good in practice," said Eyestone. "Overall were excited to have another chance to race."
"Our objective this Saturday is to have a positive experience on the course and to get an overall feel for the trip," said Shane. "I expect us to be in the top four or five this weekend."